Climb a vol­cano

Easy and funny with great views.

The city of Olot spreads out around the base of one of La Garrotxa’s best known vol­ca­noes –Montsacopa– and climb­ing its slopes is a per­fect way to redis­cover nature with­out actu­ally leav­ing the city. Also known as Sant Francesc, this vol­cano is a reminder of the land­scape that sur­rounds you in this sur­pris­ing comarca and one of the best van­tage points over Olot.

Once you have vis­ited the streets and squares of the old cen­tre of Olot, take time out to climb one of the sym­bols of this city – the vol­cano Montsacopa or Sant Francesc – whose out­line with church and watch tow­ers looms char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally behind the old city. It is only acces­si­ble on foot, but it is worth climb­ing for the view alone, and vis­i­tors should also take a turn around the lip of its crater and enjoy the 360º view of other points of inter­est in Olot – the vol­ca­noes Gar­ri­nada and Aiguane­gra and the peaks of Bassegoda and Mare de Déu del Mont in the dis­tance to the east. The church of Sant Francesc was built at the end of the Penin­sula War in the 19th cen­tury on the site of a mil­i­tary build­ing, while the watch tow­ers date from the era of the Car­line Wars, also in the 19th century.

If the visit to Montsacopa has awoken an inter­est in the vol­ca­noes, then we sug­gest you head for Parc Nou where, in the base­ment of the Torre Cas­tanys house, you will find a museum, the Museu dels Vol­cans, that pro­vides an expla­na­tion of the vol­canic phe­nom­ena and nat­ural sys­tems to be found in La Gar­rotxa. In addi­tion, the gar­dens of this ele­gant house are also of inter­est and this 4-​ha green lung, replete with ele­ments of clas­si­cal Eng­lish land­scape gar­den­ing, mature stands of native trees and a gar­den of med­i­c­i­nal plants, is an excel­lent spot in which to relax and take a rest from sight-​seeing.

Route Details:
- 45 min on foot visit Montsacopa;
- How to get there: fol­low the sign­posts in Olot to the car-​parks at the ceme­tery, where you can park before climb­ing Montsacopa.
- Obser­va­tions: vehi­cles with spe­cial per­mis­sion from the La Gar­rotxa Vol­canic Zone Nat­ural Park can drive up Montsacopa to the crater. Other than the climb up to the craters Montsacopa (40 metres)
- Sign­posted? Yes. Partly, Nat­ural Park itin­er­ary 17


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